Mitch Barrett
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Mitch Barrett

Suffolk, Virginia, United States | SELF

Suffolk, Virginia, United States | SELF
Duo Americana Singer/Songwriter

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Oct
18
Mitch Barrett @ Little Tree Acoustic House Concert Series

Lafayette, Colorado, USA

Lafayette, Colorado, USA

Sep
14
Mitch Barrett @ Aspen Meadows House Concerts

Nederland, Colorado, USA

Nederland, Colorado, USA

Aug
25
Mitch Barrett @ Natasha's Bistro & Bar

Lexington, Kentucky, USA

Lexington, Kentucky, USA

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Music

Press


Frankfort, KY (July 20, 2009)-- Mitch Barrett, a performer, storyteller and songwriter from Berea, Ky., will demonstrate his command of traditional Appalachian stories and songs during a workshop Saturday, July 25 at 2 p.m. at the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History in Frankfort.

This story-to-song workshop is the first in a series of concerts and workshops related to "Made to be Played: Traditional Art of Kentucky Luthiers," an exhibition dedicated to showcasing the art of people who make or repair stringed instruments. The exhibition is presented by the Kentucky Folklife Program, a partnership of the Kentucky Historical Society and the Kentucky Arts Council.

During the hour-long workshop, Barrett, an award- winning songwriter and storyteller, will discuss homemade music. This hands-on event is appropriate for all ages.

Barrett, who comes from a long line of storytellers and musicians, dispels stereotypes relating to Appalachia during his performances. He attributes most of the stories he tells to his grandfather, Bunk Gay, who was known throughout the region for regaling audiences large and small with his tales.

"You don't have to write hit songs," said Barrett. "You can just write stories and songs about your family."

"Made to be Played" features the rich and fascinating history of Kentucky luthiers-people who make or repair stringed instruments-and tells the stories of Kentucky master luthiers and their handcrafted guitars, fiddles, banjos, mandolins, dulcimers and other original stringed instruments. The exhibition will remain on display until closing festivities on Sept. 26.

"Made to be Played" was developed through a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and is on display thanks to the generosity of the Dupree family, in memory of Clara Galtney Dupree. The exhibition is dedicated to the memory of Homer Ledford, a Kentucky luthier and musician who was renowned for the quality, beauty, and uniqueness of his works.

- Louisville Courier


“your music, to me, is like a refreshingly cold drink of clear spring water…Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor, and Jim Croce all come to mind, even Dan Folgelberg, and Bob Dylan and the like, are the kind of writers you are rubbing musical shoulders with...you have a "style" all your own...you have that same level of expertise...that same musical greatness...if the world does not discover that...then shame on the world”. –John Gilbert, songwriter & FAN - FACE BOOK


Hearing Mitch Barrett for the first time was truly exhilarating. By song number 2, "Drop in the Bucket" he'd completely engaged a 5000+ festival crowd in a sing along! He's contagious. - Ruth Naccarato - Board Member, Founders Title Company Folk & Bluegrass Festival


“your music, to me, is like a refreshingly cold drink of clear spring water…Gordon Lightfoot, James Taylor, and Jim Croce all come to mind, even Dan Folgelberg, and Bob Dylan and the like, are the kind of writers you are rubbing musical shoulders with...you have a "style" all your own...you have that same level of expertise...that same musical greatness...if the world does not discover that...then shame on the world”. –John Gilbert, songwriter & FAN - FACE BOOK


Charming, moving, and very Appalachian - Dirty Linen Pamela Winters


"Birds Fly South" is a composite of what's best about Southern music today. - Sing Out! TD


Charming, moving, and very Appalachian - Dirty Linen Pamela Winters


Though his songwriting may be grounded in his Appalachian heritage, Mitch Barrett’s music draws from a diverse wellspring of influences. - Jim Newsom, Portfolio Magazine


When Mitch tells a story, young people and old alike become happy travelers in whatever wonderful world he is describing. - John Benjamin, Director Kentucky Arts in Education Programs


Though his songwriting may be grounded in his Appalachian heritage, Mitch Barrett’s music draws from a diverse wellspring of influences. - Jim Newsom, Portfolio Magazine


Kerrville New Folk Winner Mitch Barrett sounds like an Appalachian Dougie MacLean, with songs that are passionate, political, edgy, and haunting. - CD Baby


An energetic singer-songwriter from the heart of the Appalachians whose mountain twang meets contemporary folk. Americana steeped in rural sensibility and tradition. - unknown


Kerrville New Folk Winner Mitch Barrett sounds like an Appalachian Dougie MacLean, with songs that are passionate, political, edgy, and haunting. - CD Baby


36th ANNUAL TELLURIDE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL NAMES BEREA, KENTUCKY SINGER SONGWRITER AS THE NATIONAL SONGWRITING WINNER

“Congratulations to 2009 Telluride Troubadour winner Mitch Barrett. Mitch's performance of his song "Drop in the Bucket" on Saturday evening - with special guests Sam Bush and backup vocals from all the Troubadour finalists - was one of those unforgettable Telluride moments.” - - Planet Bluegrass
- Planet Bluegrass


By Bill Robinson
Register News Writer

BEREA — Berea singer/songwriter Mitch Barrett was named the Telluride Troubadour on June 19.

The troubadour competition, part of an annual bluegrass music festival in Telluride, Colo., drew more than 500 individual artists from across the county who write and perform original music but are not signed to a major recording and publishing contract.

In addition to national recognition and a chance to perform on the festival’s main stage, Barrett received cash and prizes, including a Custom Shanti guitar.

According to a release from the festival, contestants in the two-day troubadour competition were judged on the quality of their songs’ composition, their vocal delivery and overall performance.

Among headliners for the Telluride festival’s 36th edition were such legendary stars as Emmylou Harris, Elvis Costello, David Byrne and Bela Fleck.

The Telluride Troubadour is not the first nationally recognized musical honor Barrett has received.

He has won the Kerrville (Texas) New Folk award and The Folks Festival Songwriting Competition in Lyons, Colo., where he came out ahead of more than 900 competitors. He also is the only songwriter to be a two-time winner of Wilkesboro (N.C.) Merlefest “Chris Austin Songwriting Competition.”

He has played festivals and concert halls from coast to coast and shared the billing with such notables as Arlo Guthrie, John Prine and Richie Havens, said Brenda Barkley of BMB Artist Management.

He is scheduled to sing at the Berea Crafts Fair, July 10-12, according to the Web site mitchbarrett.com.

The founder and lead-singer of the former Zoe Speaks Band, Barrett has been called “one of Kentucky’s most talented contemporary singer-songwriters,” Barkley said.

“Mitch has remained true to his traditional roots,” she said. “His original work has achieved a contemporary understanding that reaches beyond his Appalachian heritage to the music that today is being called ‘Americana.’”

In addition to his musical career, Barkley said Barrett has been active on behalf of such humanitarian causes as the Christian Appalachian Project and the drug and alcohol rehabilitation efforts of the Kentucky court system as well as the campaign to end mountaintop removal mining.

Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@richmondregister.com or at 624-6622.

- The Richmond Register


36th ANNUAL TELLURIDE BLUEGRASS FESTIVAL NAMES BEREA, KENTUCKY SINGER SONGWRITER AS THE NATIONAL SONGWRITING WINNER

“Congratulations to 2009 Telluride Troubadour winner Mitch Barrett. Mitch's performance of his song "Drop in the Bucket" on Saturday evening - with special guests Sam Bush and backup vocals from all the Troubadour finalists - was one of those unforgettable Telluride moments.” - - Planet Bluegrass
- Planet Bluegrass


Discography

Heart & Soul (Solo Project) 2008
Drop in the Bucket (Zoe Speaks) 2008
I Ain't Lyin' I'm Tellin' You A Story (Solo Project) 2007
Soft Lies (Solo Project) 2003 / Re-Issued 2007
Birds Fly South (Zoe Speaks) 2002
Pearl (Zoe Speaks) 2000
APPALACHIA: A HISTORY OF MOUNTAINS AND PEOPLE - Shady Grove

Heart & Soul captures the emotional range of relationships from the angst of) teenage mothers (Young and Cool), to the sun-setting romance of an aging couple’s dream (Old Lover’s Dance). Not content with writing just ‘another a pretty tune’, Barrett weaves the kind of socio-political commentary into Born to Waste and and Gimme, Gimme, Gimme (George Parrish w/Jim Gage), that entices audiences to listen closely and listen to over and over again. Heart & Soul is produced by and includes performances by Dirk Powell, recently recognized for his Songs from the Mountain tour (with Tim O’Brien) and as musical consultant for the Academy Award-winning film, Cold Mountain.

Soft Lies was released in the early 90's, as a snapshot of a time period in his music. It was recorded, mixed, and mastered in one 24-hour stretch, and has a decidedly folk-rock feel.

I Ain't Lyin' I'm Tellin' You A Story is contemporary Appalachian storytelling. These stories are from his past and present. Mitch is a riveting teller, with many years experience working in front of audiences young and old.

The recording Pearl hints at the traditional Appalachian music but covers varied musical territory, with nods to contemporary acoustic, pop, and folk (with Carla Gover).

Birds Fly South produced by Grammy-nominated instrumentalist Bruce Molsky, features the artists (with Carla Gover) themselves on guitar, claw hammer banjo, and lap dulcimer, along with mandolinist Mike Compton (Nashville Bluegrass Band/Oh, Brother, Where Art Thou soundtrack), guitarist Greg Martin (The Kentucky Headhunters), and others.

On this CD you'll find lively originals about truck-stop waitresses, adoption, and a mountain boy's search for spirituality, a revisiting of the traditional "Shady Grove" from the perspective of a mixed-race couple, introspective and soulful versions of classic traditional ballads, and some mountain-steeped covers of fiddle tunes and gospel songs from the artists' childhood.

The last, Zoe Speaks project "Drop In the Bucket" and his new solo project "Heart & Soul produced by Dirk Powell are available NOW!!

Mitch’s rendition of Shady Grove was featured in APPALACHIA: A HISTORY OF MOUNTAINS AND PEOPLE CD. Academy Award winning actress Sissy Spacek narrates the four-part PBS series weaves breathtaking scenes of the natural world together with compelling stories of human drama to create a deep and unprecedented look at America's mountain home. The first environmental history of any region, APPALACHIA features interviews with Barbara Kingsolver, E.O. Wilson and many others including native Cherokees.

Contact Mitch by emailing him at mitchbarrettmusic@hotmail.com
or bmbartistmgt@gmail.com

Photos

Bio

AppalachianFunkyFolksyRastaBluesman Mitch Barrett is one of Kentucky’s most sought-after and talented singer, songwriter and storytellers. Mitch’s music draws from his Appalachian heritage and the values it instilled: agrarian work ethic, simple living, the importance of family and celebrating the joys and the struggles of everyday life through music and song.

A keen life observer and riveting performer, Mitch Barrett songs deftly laces thought-provoking subject matter with a satirist’s sense of wit and irony. Whether he’s leading a workshop, headlining a Performing Arts Center, or playing a large festival, Mitch takes his audience on an engaging journey, channeling the inner voice of a truck-stop waitress, a mountain boy seeking spirituality or a socially and environmentally-charged activist.

Mitch’s rendition of Shady Grove was featured on the CD "APPALACHIA: A HISTORY OF MOUNTAINS AND PEOPLE". Academy Award winning actress Sissy Spacek narrates the four-part PBS series.

Mitch has won many of the country's most prestigious songwriting competitions. The Folk’s Festival Songwriting Competition, The Merlefest “Chris Austin” Songwriting Competition (twice awarded), and The Kerrville “New Folk” Competition and most current the 2009 Telluride Troubadour Competition.

Some of his performances include The Telluride Bluegrass Festival, The Copenhagen Blues Festival, Sisters Folk Festival, Common Ground on the Hill, The Terrapin Hill Harvest Festival, The Evening Muse, The Grey Eagle, Pine Mt. Dulcimer Festival, Kentucky Home Front Theater, Blue Ridge BBQ & Music Festival, Kentucky Music Weekend, Rudyard Kipling, Clear Creek Healing Arts & Music Festival, The Dream Acres Festival, Tidewater Friends of Folk Music, The Freight & Salvage, The Folks Festival, The Kerrville Folk Festival, The Music2Life Competition. Floydfest, The Clinch Mt. Festival, The Bele Chere Festival, The Birchmere, The Writer’s Block, The Bean Blossom Festival, Woodsongs Old Time Radio Hour, The Tidewater Traditional Arts Festival, The National Storytelling Festival, The Kentucky Homefront Theater, The Blue Plate Special, Merlefest, The Little Tennessee River Festival and the Kennedy Center Stage in Washington, D.C.

Mitch has performed with such notables as Arlo Guthrie, Mark Schatz, Si Kahn, Greg Martin, Dirk Powell, Josh Pennington, Less Taylor, Darrell Scott, Richie Havens, Tom Paxton, Dar Williams, Doc Watson, Sam Bush, Tim O’Brian, Steve Forbert and Dave Mallett.

As a veteran storyteller and folk musician Mitch Barrett leads a collaborative storytelling and songwriting workshop, grounded in the premise that everyone’s story is important. Mitch begins by sharing songs written over his 30-year career, and discusses the life events that inspired them. Some are painful, others joyous; but in each he reveals his own vulnerability.

Suggested Formats
Original is the word here. People still have a hard time putting Mitch Barrett into a category. So it's best he just stays in his own category of Appalachianfunkyrastafolksybluesman. He's a contemporary Appalachian singer/songwriter with a touch of Americana thrown in for good measure.

Mitch is often accompanied on upright bass by Kentucky native and Zoe Speaks band mate Owen Reynolds. Owen has played the upright bass since 1998, playing in a variety of bands ranging from traditional styles to rock and funk to Latin and jazz. Having studied music at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Owen has a strong theoretical grasp, but he is careful not to let his knowledge of theory interfere with the musical communication going on on-stage. Owen has been professionally performing for fifteen years and has been a part of The Kettleheads, The Betweeners, Zoe Speaks and other regional acts.